Jan 28, 2011

Advertising Messages That Work – Part 3: Supporting a Cause

Daryl Woods
written by Daryl Woods
Chat-en-Oeuf wine cause ad


I am a big proponent of cause marketing. I’ve produced some very successful campaigns. Every company should involve themselves with a cause. It is probably the greatest win-win endeavour in marketing. Of course the cause benefits from whatever compensation they receive from brand. But the brand also profits in both public perception and their bottom line. Studies have found that around 70% of consumers select a brand that supports a cause when choosing between otherwise equal products. But if you’re going to involve your company in cause marketing, do it right.

What is Cause Marketing

First of all let’s differentiate cause marketing from sponsorship. With sponsorship, you typically donate a sum of money and allow the use of your brand name and logo in cause promotion. The cause needs and appreciates your support. People aware of the cause may notice your sponsorship but that exposure could be limited and your own market may not notice.

Cause marketing involves deeper cooperation between the cause and brand for mutual benefit. The brand supports the cause by including the cause name, identity and message in a special promotional campaign. This may include advertising, point of sale and on pack promotion and social media support. There is often financial compensation for the cause based on specified sales of the companies product for a particular period of time. In the example above, 50¢ was donated for each product purchase. This campaign was supported in many of the ways mentioned above. An additional benefit to the cause is awareness. They receive exposure far beyond the reach of their own promotion and it’s paid for by the brand. It is not uncommon for the marketing expenses to exceed the direct financial compensation. But the cumulative value of awareness and donation is considerable.

What are the benefits of Cause Marketing

Cause marketing is still marketing. Brands expect a return on their investment. There is value in being perceived as a responsible corporate citizen. This should be part of building your brand. Beyond that, a cause campaign will usually yield an increase in sales during the campaign period. As previously mentioned, consumers will choose your brand over a competitors when you support a cause. Many of them will be first time purchasers. Some of those will continue to buy your product after the promotion is over.

How do you choose a cause?

How do you choose a cause?

Sometimes there are personal reasons from within a company to support a cause that affects someone directly. If that is not the case, look for a cause that naturally aligns with your brand. Chat-en-Ouef – a spoof of a French wine – translated means cat on egg. A campaign supporting the Humane Society was appropriately fitting. It also inspired the witty headline.

You have an advertising budget. Your company likely supports charities. Why not leverage your spending, increase positive brand perception and support a worthy cause at the same time. Bottom line. Win-win.


Advertising messages that work – Part 1: Special Offers
Advertising messages that work – Part 2: You’re The Best


  • Daniella F Jan 31, 2011 Reply

    Kudos for posting such a useful weblog. Your weblog is not only informative and also looks good too. There usually are very few people who can write not so simple articles in a creative way. Keep up the good work !!

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